When the 2013 Sail for Gold Regatta commences this weekend, four of Ireland’s Olympic sailors will make their return to the waters of Weymouth, the London 2012 sailing venue. Annalise Murphy (Laser Radial), Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern (49er) and James Espey (Laser) will begin racing on Sunday in what will be the third of five instalments for the EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup.
Annalise Murphy (IRL) competing in Weymouth
This will be the first regatta of the 2013 season for Seaton and McGovern who finished 14th overall at the Games last year. Back in familiar waters after months of physical and mental training, the duo are eager to once again feel the adrenaline of elite competition as they begin their campaign towards the Rio 2016 Olympics. Up against some of the top international 49er teams, the Northern Irish men will be looking to shake off the cobwebs after an extended break from competition.
Meanwhile Annalise Murphy, who has been in sparkling form this season winning the first two Eurosaf events, will be hoping her medal streak continues. Commenting on the event ISA Performance Director James O'Callaghan remarked 'It will be a bit strange going back to Weymouth after all the highs and lows of last summer but in a way it is appropriate as this marks the beginning of the Rio campaign in earnest. It's the first time this year all campaigns will be together in the same venue'.
Also campaigning for the Rio Games and competing for the first time in the 49er FX class will be two new all-female pairings. Claudine Murphy, older sister of Annalise Murphy, has teamed up with Andrea Brewster while Tiffany Brien and Saskia Tidey, both recent ISA Academy graduates, will be sailing the other Irish entry for the new Olympic class.
The current ISA Academy sailors will also be racing this event as the organisers have allowed the youth sailors compete in the Laser Radial category. Representing Ireland will be Fionn Lyden, Finn Lynch, Cian Byrne and Seafra Guilfoyle.
Sorcha Ni Shuilleabhain, Ross O’Sullivan and Darragh O’Sullivan who are on trial for the ISA Academy will also be competing.
Sail For Gold website